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Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

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Dill pickle pasta salad is a creamy, simple recipe that is the perfect make ahead meal or side. We love serving this to our families for lunch since it is easy to pack for a busy day. This versatile salad can also make a great picnic or get-together companion that everyone will love. 

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What is Dill Pickle Pasta Salad?

Creamy dill pickle pasta salad features dill pickles and all their amazing flavor front and center. This version of pasta salad is perfect as a make ahead meal, a great lunch option for your busy family, or the perfect picnic companion. 

Our recipe makes use of the Instant Pot, so you know it is simple and quick to put together. You can also easily make this ahead of time since the flavors will actually come out more the longer it rests.

Dill pickle pasta salad

🥘Dill Pickle Pasta Salad Ingredients

When making dill pickle pasta salad, you’ll need two sets of ingredients: one for the salad itself and the other for the creamy dill dressing.

For the salad, the ingredients you’ll need along with some substitution ideas are listed below:

  • Rotini pasta - You can use a different, small pasta for this if you prefer, such as penne or ziti noodles.
  • Dill pickle juice - You don’t need to buy anything special, just use some of the juice from your pickle jar.
  • Baby dill pickles - We like the look for baby dill pickles and their added crunch, but you could sub in with larger dill pickles and dice them up more. You may also like to add some sweet pickles for some added flavor.
  • Cherry tomatoes - This gives the salad a bit of added color and flavor.
  • Colby Jack cheese - You’ll want the cheese chopped into cubes or larger chunks, not shredded. You can also use different cheeses if you prefer, such as cheddar, mozzarella, or your favorite type.
  • White onion - For added crunch and flavor, we use white onion, but you could use red or yellow if you prefer. Or for the taste of onion without the added crunch, you could try adding scallions.
Dill pickle pasta salad

🥘Dill Dressing Ingredients

For the creamy dill dressing, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Mayonnaise - We prefer using regular mayo, but you could use low fat options if you prefer.
  • Sour cream - This gives a bit more flavor to the dressing as well as extra creaminess.
  • Dill pickle juice - You can take this directly from the dill pickle jar.
  • Chopped fresh dill - If you can’t find or don’t want to use fresh, you could use dried dill instead.
  • Red chili flakes - This gives the salad a pop of heat that we like, but if you prefer, you could skip this.
  • Salt - This is to taste. Just keep in mind, the dill pickle juice will have a lot of salt, so you probably won’t need much.
  • Pepper - Like red pepper, black pepper gives the salad a bit of heat, so you can add more or omit entirely depending on your preferences.

🔪How to make Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

For this recipe, we use the Instant Pot to make the pasta. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can prepare the pasta on the stove top following the instructions on the box of pasta you use.

Here’s what you need to do to make creamy dill pickle pasta salad:

  • First, add 3 cups of water, sea salt, and the rotini to the Instant Pot’s inner pot.
  • Next, stir gently and place the lid on with the vent knob turned to the sealing position.
  • Once in place, select “pressure cook” on high for 3 minutes.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, do a quick pressure release immediately.
  • Carefully pour the cooked pasta into a colander to drain the water and then move the rinsed pasta to a mixing bowl. 
  • Pour 3 tablespoons of pickle juice over it and then stir to combine. Let it sit for 5 minutes and drain.
  • As it sits, mix together all the creamy dill dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • When the pasta is ready, add the pasta, cheese, pickles, dill, and onion to a serving bowl and toss with the dressing.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours before serving for the best flavor or serve immediately.

How to serve dill pickle Pasta salad

Dill pickle pasta make a great lunch option. It is also an easy side dish to bring to picnic or get together with friends and family.

We like serving dill pickle pasta salad with our favorite sandwiches and soups. 

For the best flavor, let it rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving. If you can let it sit overnight, that is even better! The longer it sits, the more the flavors will come together.

Dill pickle pasta salad

💭Storing dill pickle pasta salad

Once you finish putting the salad together, you will want to cover and store it in the fridge for several hours. For best results and freshest flavor, we use an airtight container, but you could use plastic wrap or foil to cover if needed.

You should not freeze dill pickle pasta. It will not thaw nicely and you will lose a lot of the crunch, resulting in a mushy mess that is not appetizing.

How long will it last in the refrigerator?

You can often store dill pickle pasta in the refrigerator for about 4 to 5 days. For best results, make sure to transfer it to an airtight container and limit the number of times you take it out and let it sit on the counter or table.

If you bring it to a gathering and it sits out for hours, it may not last as long as when stored fully in the fridge. 

Dill pickle pasta salad

💭Pro tips and tricks

When you make this creamy dill pickle pasta salad, you can try these simple tips and tricks to get the best flavor:

  • Let the completed salad rest for at least 4 hours in the fridge before serving to let all the flavors come together.
  • Don’t over cook the pasta! When the timer goes off, make sure to do a quick release of pressure and then remove and drain it immediately.
  • For added flavor, try adding in some chopped sweet pickles. This adds some sweet flavor to balance out some of the salt and heat.
  • For more crunch, add additional veggies like celery and carrots.
Dill pickle pasta salad

📖What substitutions can I do?

Dill pickle salad can work with other veggies and with some substitutions in ingredients. Here are a few suggestions and ideas:

  • Can’t find baby dill pickles? You can use regular dill pickles instead, you’ll just lose a bit of crunch with larger varieties. But you can also look for different varieties of dill pickles, like zesty, for a slightly different flavor.
  • Add in more veggies like carrots, celery, radishes, zucchini, or your favorites. They should absorb some of the flavor from the pickles.
  • Use different cheeses to either replace the colby or add to it. You can mix and match cheeses to make a unique flavor.
Dill pickle pasta salad

More amazing Italian Pasta Recipes

If you are like us, you love pasta. Check out these recipes for a taste of Italy any day of the week.

Other easy salads to try

Salads, both traditional and pasta, make for great meals, starters, and sides. If you love them as much as we do, you should check out some of our other favorites here:

Let us know what you think

Dill pickle pasta salad

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

Dill pickle pasta salad is a creamy, simple recipe that is the perfect make ahead meal or side. We love serving this to our families for lunch since it is easy to pack for a busy day.

Ingredients

  • 8oz rotini pasta
  • 3 tablespoon dill pickle juice /from the pickle jar
  • 1 cup chopped half baby dill pickles
  • 1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 4 oz Colby Jack cheese/ cubed small
  • 1/2 small white onion /finely chopped

For Creamy Dill Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoon cup dill pickle juice/ from the pickle jar
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh dill/ (or 1/2 tablespoon dried dill)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. First, add 3 cups of water, sea salt, and the rotini to the Instant Pot’s inner pot.
  2. Next, stir gently and place the lid on with the vent knob turned to the sealing position.
  3. Once in place, select “pressure cook” on high for 3 minutes.
  4. When the cooking cycle is complete, do a quick pressure release immediately.
  5. Carefully pour the cooked pasta into a colander to drain the water and then move the rinsed pasta to a mixing bowl. 
  6. Pour 3 tablespoons of pickle juice over it and then stir to combine. Let it sit for 5 minutes and drain.
  7. As it sits, mix together all the creamy dill dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  8. When the pasta is ready, add the pasta, cheese, pickles, dill, and onion to a serving bowl and toss with the dressing.
  9. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours before serving for the best flavor or serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Let the completed salad rest for at least 4 hours in the fridge before serving to let all the flavors come together.
  2. Don’t over cook the pasta! When the timer goes off, make sure to do a quick release of pressure and then remove and drain it immediately.
  3. For added flavor, try adding in some chopped sweet pickles. This adds some sweet flavor to balance out some of the salt and heat.
  4. For more crunch, add additional veggies like celery and carrots.

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Tara

Saturday 23rd of April 2022

I am a sucker for pasta because it is the perfect weeknight recipe! This dill pickle pasta salad is so unique - I had to try. It was delicious!

Beth

Friday 22nd of April 2022

This is a delicious take on pasta salad. I'm going to be making this a lot this summer! Thanks

Jen

Friday 22nd of April 2022

Somehow the dressing ingredients and amounts are not showing in the recipe. It ends at white onion. I’d love to make this but can’t until the dressing ingredients show up 😋

Cheryl

Friday 22nd of April 2022

@Jen, ditto. Couldn't find the amounts for the dressing anywhere. Like to make it and give it a try but I need the recipe for the dressing.

Katherine

Friday 22nd of April 2022

My whole family will love this pasta!

Kerri

Friday 22nd of April 2022

I love pasta salad and pickles so I had to give this a try! I love the tang of the dill with the pasta, plus it last 5 days in the fridge so it was great for meal prep!

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